A brief analysis of the History of Women’s Football in England Since its inception, women’s football has been constantly wrought with a lot of uncertainty and unstableness. There has been the common misconception among most people that football as a sport should essentially be synonymous with masculinity…
This misconceived myth is found to be fairly perpetuated in various football related matters such as club ownership, the coaching personnel involved, the players as well as in several ancillary industries such as the sporting press (Williams, 2003). Women’s football in England cannot be regarded as being a new sport. Historical evidence has shown that there was a representative football match back in 1895 between two women’s football teams drawn from the North and South of London (Hong and Mangan, 2012). During this match, the women that had been drawn from the North of London managed to win the game with a score margin of 7-1 (Grainey, 2012). From the very advent of the sport, women had constantly come under very close scrutiny as a result of the uniform that they were essentially to wear when playing the game. Most of the original orthodox jerseys that these women were essentially made of basic attire and usually comprised of loose blouses and knickers. Although this initial game was relatively highly attended, most of the media was quick to denounce it claiming that the quality of football that was being played by women was definitely poor (Williams, 2003). Criticism for this game was also seen to be expressed by the British Medical Journal which claimed that they could not in any way the needless exposure to violence that the organs of these women players were exposed to during the game although common experience had keenly taught these women to protect these organs (Reilly, Cabri and Araujo, 2005). The number of spectators attending these women’s football games was seen to gradually decrease over time and the press was seen to take great pleasure in proclaiming that the novelty of women playing football had gradually worn off. During the WWI era, as more men were drafted into fighting for the war, women were seen to enter the workforce in large numbers and these women factory workers formed various football teams based on the factories where they worked. This new trend was seen to be actively encouraged by the political establishment who saw it as an avenue that would show that the entire country was essentially functioning normally despite the war (Magee et al, 2007). The various matches played by these factory organized women’s football teams were usually for charities designed to aid in the raising of funds for helping the injured soldiers. The most successful of these factory based teams was the Dick Kerr factory team (Dunmore, 2011). This team won most of its matches and its manager organized for them to play a match against the French National team (Murray, 1998). The Ban on Women Football Due to the support that the Dick Kerr Ladies football team offered the mine workers by playing games to raise money for the striking mine workers after the events of Black Friday where the miners refused to accept the proposed 50% pay cut that was being imposed on them by the mine-owners (Williams, 2007). The government saw this as essentially being a political act, and started a propaganda campaign designed to end women’s football in the country. In December 1921, the Football Association released a press statement in which it denounced women’s football claiming that there had been a wide array of various complaints brought before it ranging from the use of the funds that were usually raised by the games to the conditions under which some of the games had been played (Brackenridge et al, 2005). To further cripple the women’s sport, the FA also prevented all their linesmen as well as referees from officiating in any of these women matches, they also prevented clubs associated with the ...
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